Me, Myself, and Los Angeles: Narrating the Modern Self in the City of Angels, MLA 2011: Los Angeles (March 15, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Sharon Becker

Me, Myself, and Los Angeles: Narrating the Modern Self in the City of Angels

Proposed Special Session for MLA 2011, Los Angeles

How does the modernist write about the discovery of the self in the City of Angels? This panel seeks to address the president's theme of "narrating lives" by examining autobiographical responses to living in Los Angeles in the first half of the 20th century. Letter, memoirs, autobiographies, essays, as well as fictional responses are all welcome as long as the focus is on the development of the self, subjectivity, or other ways the self is understood in conjunction with living or working in Los Angeles from (roughly) 1900 to (roughly) 1950. Though I am interested in framing L.A. as a city where modernist writing took place, and I would love for this panel to reflect the idea that a modern self is written via modernist literary approaches, I am not tied to a specific set of writers or definitions for the parameters of modernism. A creative and "unboxed" approached to modernism is encouraged. I want this panel to be at play with definitions and understandings of both the theme "narrating lives" as well as "modernism." Topics that examine literature published before 1900 or into the 1950s will be happily considered, as long as the argument can be made that they fit into a modernist sensibility.

Interested panelists should submit a 250 word abstract and a recent CV via E-mail by March 15, 2010 to Sharon Becker at Queries welcome. Those interested in acting as a respondent for the panel are encouraged to contact the organizer of this panel as well.

All panelists chosen for participation must be members of the Modern Language Association by April 7, 2010.